T3CON14 and the CMS revolution

22 October 2014 Comments Off

We are living great times, an era transformed by the internet, the easy reach to information, the power of communication that enhances our experiences, weather we work, we study, we shop or we just have fun. Already always connected, through many devices and interfaces, assaulted by channels that transmit us information, emotion, persuasion, in a permanent state of “new” which we incorporate fast into our lives, can we envision what tomorrow will bring ? Can we, as individual web developers and web agencies, be part and drive this accelerated evolution, instead of reactively adapt to the new trends ?

This year at the TYPO3 Conference in Berlin, I felt enlightened by the feeling that I am in the best possible industry right now – the inspired presenters, the great people of the TYPO3 community, everybody was energized by this acknowledgement: the web transforms, we are transforming it, we ride the wave of change, or if we are not doing it yet, we should get up there fast.

con21

The nhow hotel, the inspiring location of the conference

Far from being a complete review, this is a collection of notes from the presentations that I could attend and from the discussion that I had during the first 2 days of the conference.

The T3CON14 was opened by Kasper Skårhøj, once again back on stage in front of the community that he has started years ago. Well witted and inspiring, he reminded us a powerful thing: When time passed over us, we don’t remember and don’t value the “hard work” that we did, but the fun that we had, the passion that we put on what we like, the value that we create in the world. When you put passion, you create great things. Thus, follow your bliss, even if sometimes this leads to changes in your path. And do what you like, so that you never “work” again.

con3

Ric van Westhreenen told us that if we are embracing responsive webdesign we are stupid :) A bit puzzled at first, I ended in agreement. We should do websites for the users, not for the screens. We would be stupid if we just re-organize the information to fit on the screens of any device, without considering the user experience, the context in which he is using the website, the path towards his goal. In the last years, we moved fast through the necessary steps: the responsive design to fit the websites on all the screens of the devices, the adaptive design considers the specific presentation of information and functionality adapted for the device, and now towards the situational design, that considers the context in which you use the website: on the road with poor signal, in the shop trying to compare reviews of products, or at home relaxed in front of your big screen, your needs and possibilities are different, and the websites should “know” this.

I knew that we are in for a great talk when Rasmus Skjoldan took the stage to tell us about building digital experiences with TYPO3 Neos, a product greatly influenced by his vision of moving beyond the boundaries of the “old ways” of presenting structured content through which you navigate in the browser, seeing language as the only relevant target user segmentation. There are no boundaries for information, we should not resume to be web centric, or even worse, think in “pages” and “content trees”, but we would greatly benefit if we are ready to provide complete digital experienced, through all media, to everybody.

From Morten Gade we received the provocation to remove the “management” from the “CMS”. Through our websites, we target our audience through the content, which after all creates the competitive difference for the end users. Emphasizing the “management” could hinder the freedom of good, relevant content creation . A CMS, or better said a CS ( a “Content System”) should be “a tool that allows us to develop ideas, to produce, to cooperate”, a platform for the facilitation of better content, which “should adapt to the organizational context of the producer” instead of setting structured boundaries. The system which allows the content creators to unleash their potential will be a clear winner of the the future market.
For Timour Chafik, the reality is a mosaic of stories. And so it is for all of us, thus we should always remember this when we create websites and their content, marketing campaigns, advertising and anything else that has the purpose to engage our target. Stories are everywhere, and sometimes we might forget that in our companies, as in any company, “there are people who have stories that are waiting to be told”. This is a huge potential that we should be smart to use when we create any project, as from the free flow of ideas and stories that are shared we can generate innovative approaches and ultimately create projects and products that matter for our users, not just from the informative perspective, but also create emotion, inspire, engage them, lead them to identify themselves with the “story” that we are telling.

From a general perspective to something more concrete, TYPO3 Neos received a well deserved focus on several talks, as while the entire CMS market is about to enter a revolution, we in the TYPO3 community are already living one, through Neos.

As Robert Lemke ensured us, we will soon have the translation support at our hands in the upcoming 1.2 version, in fact we could already seen it at work during his presentation, in a real project. While Neos is still not spread out as people might still wait for the promised features from 1.2 and 1.3, there are no doubts for the ones who already started to use it that also from the development perspective it brings a solid advantage. It is much easy to learn than the TYPO3 CMS, in fact we saw ourselves at Arxia and through the public workshop that we did in Cluj for fellow web programmers that getting into Neos and doing a first project is quite easy and does not even require prior knowledge of TYPO3 CMS ( though it helps of course ). And after the first projects done, we should be able to state, as Robert does, that “the speed of development is higher with Neos”, once you’ve passed the learning phase.

I was eagerly looking to see a real large scale Neos project, so I welcomed the showcase of venstre.dk, a site done for the largest and oldest political party in Denmark. With over 10,000 members who can manage their own profile, generate and change information, this was a big challenge to prove that anyone, without prior technical knowledge, would be able to start working with the content with ease just after their first login, without reading manuals and spending hours in training.

An interesting talk from Martin Helmich showed us that there are possibilities to automate the migration from a TYPO3 CMS instance to TYPO3 Neos. Well, at least some automation is possible, making easier for the developers to start from something instead of doing everything from scratch once again. As the interest will raise in this type of migration I the future, we should expect to see more mature tools, moving further from the stage of prototype, which will help us undertake this challenge.

con1

The CMS to Neos migration mapping

This was the first T3CON where I saw talks about outsourcing. Maybe from some of the audience the subject is new, especially the presentation of the top problems that agencies are facing when contracting work abroad. Misscomunication or lack of communication and quality level ranked on top of the issues. For us, as long time TYPO3 outsourcing providers, there were no surprises, as we know the issues and overheads that both sides are facing during an outsourcing relationship, and when such a relation is not treated with responsibility and engagement for a long term perspective, things might turn wrong.

Weather during the presentations, or while talking with the people in the coffee breaks and social events, I have found out that there are already more and more agencies who work with Neos and with Flow, that there are already large projects launched, some maybe more discrete as they were not publicly presented yet, and there are even more in the making. This was a very encouraging sign for me, proving that Arxia did the right thing by starting to work with Neos and Flow in production from the beginning of 2014.

As we all know, there is much more to a T3CON than just the presentations. It was great to meet people, discussing during coffee breaks and at social events, learning what others are doing and talking about the future of TYPO3, the trends, the challenges, the community, the events and the projects. I was also pleased to see that many people knew already about the TYPO3 East Europe ( www.t3ee.org ) event that we are organizing in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I liked a lot finding out about Andrea Herzog’s “TYPO3 Rookies” project, which aims to integrate faster into the TYPO3 world the youngsters, interns and developers who are just starting their career. After all TYPO3 is about community, its people, their willingness to contribute, to have initiatives and to start projects, to create events, to move things forward, all joined in a partnership culture, supporting the development of the platforms from which we all benefit.

In all, T3CON14 was a great event, bringing a lot of inspiration about the future that we are called to shape, about the perspectives of the TYPO3 product family and the TYPO3 community.

 Author: Daniel Homorodean

SmartWeb Conference 2014

3 October 2014 Comments Off

Thanks to Arxia, on the 23rd of September I had the opportunity to attend the SmartWeb Conference, “A conference for East-European web designers and developers, bringing you an exquisite lineup of speakers”. This was the second edition which took place in Bucharest.

enhance

The event kicked off with a presentation from Jeremy Keith: Enhance. He focused on the need for semantics in Web development, progressive enhancement and how to keep things simple if possible. He explained how to use structural honesty like <button> instead of <span onclick> or material honesty: border radius instead of multiple elements with background images. In the second presentation of the first session, Kaelig a front-end developer for theguardian.com, showed us some solutions that have been implemented using SASS to help designers and developers to work together better.

The second session started with Marko Dungonjic’s presentation: Fixing Lorem Ipsum with Content Prototyping. He presented some ideas about “content prototyping” method to replace the famous but slightly useless “lorem ipsum” text and lifelike images. The second session ended with Harry Roberts presentation: What Is A CSS Framework Anyway? . He talked about the difference between UI Toolkit and CSS Framework:”UI Toolkit gets the job done, CSS Framework gets the job started.” and why it’s not ok to use UI Toolkit’s like Bootstrap for custom designs.

flexbox

After lunch, the third session started with Remy Sharp’s presentation, Muddling your way in real-time, in which he showcased how to build real-time applications with NodeJS using Primus. In the second presentation of the third session, Leveling Up With Flexbox,  Zoe Gillenwater showed us that we already use Flexbox and how to ensure easy fallback for browsers that do not support it.

The last session started with Ana Tudor’s presentation: CSS: Use and Abuse. She showed us how to build complex animations and drawings with CSS3.The conference ended with Bruce Lawson’s presentation: Bruce’s Tour of the Sausage Factory about web standardisation.

A big thanks goes to the organizers of this conference for a very good organisation and also to the speakers for their very interesting presentations.

Photo Credit: SmartWeb.

 Author: Leonard Keresztesi

Exercise with extbase and Ajax

25 July 2014 Comments Off

Introduction

This example is a dummy problem, which aims to create a basis for explaining the use of 3 concepts: format parameter, StandaloneView and PHP based views. The solution works with TYPO3 version >= 6.0

The problem

Let’s suppose that we need to implement the following task: we have a page that looks, at load, like in the below model:

Box C

When clicking on the link “Show Items” from box A, 2 new boxes (D & E) should be loaded, without page refresh (ajax call)

Box E

 

We will assume that Box D and Box E display the same records, let’s call them Items. Let’s also consider that Box D and Box E need to be templatable. As we can’t include the both boxes in the same Fluid template, due to the page layout, we need 2 different Fluid templates, one for each box. As they display the same records, for performance reasons, we can load them using a single ajax call, which will return a JSON object with 2 attributes, having as values the HTML for Box D and the HTML for BOX E. On clicking the title of the Item, the user will be redirected to a page displaying the details of the item.

Solution

Let’s call the extension test_extension, the controller Test.We will need:
an action to return the JSON, let’s call it ajax,
an action to display the detail (single) page of the item, let’s call it show
let’s consider we would also need an action to display the “Show items” link (although in the current example this is not necessary), let’s call it tease

So we need to resolve 2 issues: 1. the ajax call should return a JSON and 2. the ajax action should parse 2 different templates.

1. The ajax call should return a JSON

Let’s suppose we registered the plugin in ext_localconf.php with the name Test:

\TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Utility\ExtensionUtility::configurePlugin(
Arxia.’ . $_EXTKEY,
‘Test’,
array(
Test=> ajax,show,tease,
),
);

The most convenable solution to handle this ajax request is using typenum (typenum allows to create different versions of the same page, accessible by adding the type GET/POST parameter in the url of the page). So we need to configure a new version of the site (let’s choose typenum 121) in the test_extension/Configuration/Typoscript/setup.txt file.

My favorite way of including a plugin through Typoscript is to actually select a content (tt_content). A container page may be used to add the content. This is my favorite way because we will have access to all the configurations of the plugin’s flexform – that will allow to an advanced editor to easily change some parameters, like the page which contains the records.

testPage = PAGE
testPage.typeNum = 121
testPage.config.disableAllHeaderCode = 1
testPage.config.additionalHeaders = Content-type:application/json
testPage.config.xhtml_cleaning = 0
testPage.10 = CONTENT
testPage.10{
table = tt_content

#
# a content of type plugin, will have in the list_type field a value which will respect the following format
# <extensionname>_<plugin_name>, in lowercase; if the extension name has “_” they will be ignored;
# as we registered the plugin Test in ext_localconf.php, the list_type value will be “testextension_test”;
# adding the below condition, we ensure that no undesired content is selected
#
select.andWhere = list_type = “testextension_test”
select.pidInList = <the container page id>

renderObj < tt_content

# below we remove tt_content default wrapping
# and preserve only the plugin output
renderObj.stdWrap >
renderObj.list.10 >
renderObj.list.20.stdWrap >

}

Although we can simply return the JSON from the action, let’s return it from a view, as, in real life, some output related decisions may be managed from the view. But as we may need the PHP power inside the view, we are going to use a PHP based view. This type of view use pure PHP to generate the output.

We need to add the file corresponding the view in the folder <extension>/Classes/View/<ControllerName>. The file name should follow the naming convention <Action><Format>.php. We need the format to be JSON, so the path for our file should be “test_extension/Classes/View/Test/AjaxJson.php”.

The view should extend TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Mvc\View\AbstractView (which implements the interface TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Mvc\View\ViewInterface) and it should implement the method render. Let’s consider that we will assign to the view, from the ajax action, 2 variables: boxAContent and boxBContent. We will retrieve them as keys of the variables attribute of the view. The content of our view file will be:

<?php
namespace Arxia\TestExtension\View\Test;

class AjaxJson extends \TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Mvc\View\AbstractView {

public function render() {
$jsonArray = array(
‘boxAContent’ => $this->variables['boxAContent'],
‘boxBContent’ => $this->variables['boxBContent']
);
return json_encode($jsonArray);
}
}
?>

However, we need to tell extbase the request is in JSON format, in order to correctly recognize the view. We can do this using the less known parameter: format. Also let’s suppose we want to cache the JSON response (as any other page would be cached). We will create the link to “Show items” in Box A. As this is outputted by the tease action, we also have a corresponding view, which should contain the following code:

<f:link.action action=”ajax” controller=”Test” format=”json” pageType=”121″>
<f:translate key=”LLL:EXT:test_extension/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_db.xlf:show_items” />
</f:link.action>

The parameter format will add tx_testextension_test[format]=json, which will tell extbase that the request is using JSON format. After we have this link, we can use Javascript to change the normal navigation when clicking the link with an ajax request.

2. The ajax action should parse 2 different templates (Fluid files)

In order to parse from an action 2 different Fluid files, we will need to use a special view provided by extbase: TYPO3\CMS\Fluid\View\StandaloneView. We will create in Test controller a protected function which also assign to the specific template some variables. Let’s consider we added the Fluid files in Partial folder, as they may be used in other FLUID views.

protected function renderFileTemplate($templateFile, $variables) {
$view = $this->objectManager->get(‘TYPO3\\CMS\\Fluid\\View\\StandaloneView’);

$view->setControllerContext($this->controllerContext);

$extbaseFrameworkConfiguration = $this->configurationManager->getConfiguration(\TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Configuration\ConfigurationManagerInterface::CONFIGURATION_TYPE_FRAMEWORK);

// generate the template path
$relativeTemplateFilePath = $extbaseFrameworkConfiguration['view']['partialRootPath'] . $this->request->getControllerName() . ‘/’ . $templateFile;
$absoluteTemplateFilePath = TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::getFileAbsFileName($relativeTemplateFilePath);
$view->setTemplatePathAndFilename($absoluteTemplateFilePath);

// asign variables to the template
$view->assignMultiple($variables);

return $view->render();
}

The ajax action will call this function 2 times and it will assign the result of the 2 parsed templates to the PHP based view

public function ajaxAction() {
$items = $this->itemRepository->findAll();

// generate Box A
$boxATemplate = ‘BoxA.html’;
$variables = array(‘items’ => $items);
$boxAContent = $this->renderFileTemplate($boxATemplate, $variables));
$this->view->assign(‘boxAContent’, $boxAContent);

// generate Box B
$boxBTemplate = ‘BoxB.html’;
$variables = array(‘items’ => $items);
$boxAContent = $this->renderFileTemplate($boxATemplate, $variables));
$this->view->assign(‘boxBContent’, $boxBContent);
}

Final thoughts
Although the above example is just a dummy problem, all of the 3 concepts may be used in various real problems. An example of a real-life problem solved by StandaloneView can be found here: forge.typo3.org: How to use the Fluid Standalone view to render template based emails

Other useful links are:

Notes:
Most of the comments code were removed in order to save space.

 

Author: Alina Fleşer

TYPO3 Neos – Ready for production?

30 June 2014 Comments Off

TYPO3 Neos logo

TYPO3 Neos is the next-generation open source content management system made by the TYPO3 community. Neos is based on the PHP framework TYPO3 Flow.
There was & still is a lot of hype lately around the new TYPO3 product, TYPO3 Neos, that makes many people ask one simple question: Is TYPO3 Neos ready for production? For different clients, with different needs, for “impossible” projects?
Many TYPO3 agencies ask if Neos is ready for production. We will try to answer, from our direct experience gathered while implementing several Neos projects

TYPO3 Neos hands on - Case Study #1

Naturally, we were excited when we saw the first opportunity to propose TYPO3 Neos as a solution for a small local institution that had an old website on a deprecated platform. The reason we chose to go with TYPO3 Neos was a combination of eagerness to try it on a real world project and also because it really fit well with the needs of our client. Our client’s editors were people who weren’t technical at all, people from the medical sector. TYPO3 Neos is a perfect candidate for simple editor:

  1. Simple editing method
  2. Short learning period
  3. No training required
  4. Intuitive use

Having experience with TYPO3 Flow was also a factor when we made the decision for TYPO3 Neos because the CMS itself is no more than a TYPO3 Flow application.

TYPO3 Neos 1.0 was the starting point for us and during the development we saw how easy custom elements can be created with the power of nodes & TypoScript 2.0. But what hurt us the most was the acute lack of documentation. Finding the right documentation was not a matter of looking into wikis, but mailing lists or even IRC chats on Freenode channel #typo3-neos
That can be really frustrating, but with lots of coffee & patience that can be overcome.

The project didn’t hit us with any surprises and development went really smooth despite that fact that it was a new CMS for everyone involved in the team. Version 1.0 was buggy especially in the backend, problems usually occurred with the editing of content, most of the times exception were thrown if the user deleted content in some cases.
After delivery we were surprised that the client didn’t need any training, everything was so intuitive for him that content was added by editors without any help / training from our side. Impressive.

TYPO3 Neos hands on - Case Study #2

Another project that came to us as a explicit request for TYPO3 Neos, gave us the opportunity to test drive the freshly released TYPO3 Neos 1.1. We must say that the Neos team did a great job making a more stable version, problems that usually occurred in backend were fixed and a great improvement in performance was very welcomed. Also, some new minor features were introduced, like node type switching, which was badly needed for editors.

But the localization & translation are still missing from the backend, although the foundation was set already in 1.1. For now, the easiest way to do multilingual websites with TYPO3 Neos is to use the old fashion way that was used also early on in TYPO3 CMS, different page trees for each language. The TYPO3 Neos team promises to deliver Content Dimensions, an alternative to the translation handling that currently exists in TYPO3 CMS. The content dimension concept is the foundation to work with different content variants and have a very flexible localization solution in Neos. The user interface to work with content dimensions and translations will be part of the next version (1.2).
For example, you can have more than languages, you could make variants of a content element for people ages 13 -25 and other variants for people ages 26 +. This cool features will help websites present relevant information not only by language, but also depending on the website user characteristics.

Getting back to our project, integration of template was easy and even if the website was multilanguage we managed to get by the missing translations infrastructure quite easily.
Since the website was responsive, we needed to target different devices and here our experience with Flow / Fluid kicked in. This is one of the advantages of TYPO3 Neos for agencies that are working with Extbase / Fluid / Flow is that even if they never touched it, it will feel familiar and custom plugins will be no more than simple packages. But most of the time you won’t need dedicated plugins, like extensions in TYPO3 CMS. Nodes & Fluid are extremely flexible that in most cases you won’t need a plugin.

TYPO3 Neos & Deployment

Another aspect that we love about TYPO3 Neos is deployment. Having from the start each website as a Flow package is just awesome, during development and also after. Working with a team under VCS is extremely easy and once you are done, all the content can be exported into a single XML file. No database dumps, we just installed a fresh Neos on the clients server and installed the package, et voila! Everything was working perfectly.

Production ready can have different meanings for different people, but some key factors are still missing:

  1. Translation / localization
  2. Multi domain support
  3. Documentation

Once all the above are stable and in good shape, we can state that TYPO3 Neos is indeed production ready.

Conclusion

TYPO3 Neos is already good for small presentation websites, we are glad to see how easy the inexperienced editors get to manage the content with Neos and we believe that given time it will have a bright future.

We believe in the power & concepts that TYPO3 Neos brings to the CMS market and with the new skills we acquired, we are ready to deliver TYPO3 Neos projects!

Author: Tomita Militaru

 

JSCamp Romania 2014

23 June 2014 Comments Off

Thanks to Arxia, I had the opportunity to attend, on 3 June, the JSCamp Romania conference. This was the first edition and took place in Bucharest. JSCamp Romania goal was to gather experts from across the field of front-end development, to bring the attendees up to speed on the latest open-web technologies.

The event kicked off with the Robert Nyman, a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla and the Editor of Mozilla Hacks,  presentation Five Stages of Development. He talked about the Five Stages of Development as a Kübler-Ross model (Five stages of grief) and how to overcome these. In the second presentation of the first session, Build Your Own AngularJS, Tero Parviainen showcased the build of a simplified version of the Angular’s dependency injector, in an effort to make us understand what the injector does.

20140603_105740

The second session started with Sebastian Golasch’s presentation The glitch in the game, in which he presented different tools(Visual regression, CSS tests, Perf, Monkey tests) for detecting glitches, failures and weird behaviour in web pages and apps.The second session ended with Phil Hawksworth presentation Static Site Strategies .He talked about how to build faster and more dynamic sites, without the need for complex back-ends using emerging tools and services.

After the lunch break, Martin Kleppe showed us in his presentation Minified JavaScript Craziness how to write complex JavaScript programs with less then 1k of code or bypass security with programs that use only six different characters to write and execute code. Peter Muller presentation The No Build System Build System about manipulating and optimizing web pages and web applications, ended the third session of presentations.

20140603_153901

 

The last session started with Patrick H. Lauke’s presentation Getting touchy – an introduction to touch and pointer eventsHe gave us an introduction on Microsoft’s pointer events and showed us why it’s not good to use only Touch events, now when there are a lot of hybrid devices. The conference ended with Vince Allan’s presentation Braitenberg and the Browser about using JavaScript to build Braitenberg Vehicles and other natural simulations in a web browser.

A big thank you goes to the organizers of this conference for a very good organisation and also for the speakers and their very interesting talks.

 

 Author: Leonard Keresztesi

Arxia at T3DD14 in Eindhoven

23 June 2014 Comments Off

We’ve just returned from the TYPO3 Developer Days held in Eindhoven the Netherlands. The T3DD is one of the most important events in the TYPO3 Universe gathering together more then 200 developers from different countries and continents. It’s the place where you can meet almost all the core developers of TYPO3, TYPO3 Neos and TYPO3 Flow. Our team was represented by László Bodor and Tomiţă Militaru, both TYPO3 integrators and extension developers.

Tomi and Laci

Although not there physically, our colleagues Alina Fleşer and Daniel Homorodean were also there in pictures (see below)

Alina and Daniel

The event started on Thursday 19th of June with an opening speech from Patrick Broens followed by Ben van’t Ende and Olivier Dobberkau. The opening session featured an interesting community building moment. Ten veteran TYPO3 people become so called buddies of 10 newcomers into the TYPO3 world, it’s an interesting idea and it will probably help the newcomers to integrate into the TYPO3 community more easier.

After the opening ceremony the workshops kickstarted in full force in the different rooms of the TechniekHuys. Even from the first day it was obvious that there is a very big interest in subjects related to TYPO3 Neos (full rooms at almost every Neos related workshop). Due to the nature of the T3DD (having several parallel tracks) we could attend only a limited number of workshops but from what we’ve seen there was quite some number of interesting workshops. The true value of the T3DD is that these workshops are held by people who actually created that feature, extension or product. This way the attendees can direct their questions directly to the developer and can get a qualified opinion on the subject. The first day ended with the the lunch and some socializing.

Friday I’ve attended the THEMES workshops and Tomiţă went to the Flow/ Neos contribution workshop. The THEMES project aims to bring interchangeable themes to the TYPO3 world just like other CMS’s do so and this is a subject i was always interested in. The workshop held by Kay Strobach, Jo Hasenau and Thomas Deuling presented the progress of the project so far. And then we’ve even created a theme in the second part of the workshop based on the bootstrap package done by the developers. When the themes extension will be mature enough and a distribution will be available with some prepackaged themes and extensions it will be much easier for newcomers to kickstart their website with TYPO3 and some themes. The second day ended with the coding night where people could work on different bugs and features from within the TYPO3 family of products (TYPO3, Neos, Flow) and extensions.

Photo credits: R. Kuthe – @mixedpixel

On the 3rd day it was Flow / Neos time for us. First the Flow beginner workshop with Robert Lemke – although I’m not really a beginner anymore but i attended to pick up maybe some new things or best practices. Then in the afternoon we’ve attended the TYPO3 Neos Advanced integration workshop held by Christian Müller and Sebastian Kurfürst. This night was the social event night which started with a barbeque just outside of the TechniekHuys and then continued with the soccer game Germany – Ghana projected on a big screen. Unfortunately for the audience Germany only managed a draw 2-2 with Ghana. Remains to be seen who will be the winner of group G on Thursday when Germany meets the USA. Of course the social event wasn’t just about the game, there were lots of discussions, beer, wine and whatnot.

Unfortunately for us we had to leave after this night because on Sunday morning we’ve had our plane back. We have to thanks to the organizers for this great event which gave us the opportunity to learn more, to meet nice people from the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. Also a big thank you for all the sponsors, especially jweiland.net , domainfactory, aoe and networkteam.

Greetings to all of you from Cluj Napoca – The heart of Transylvania and we hope to see you all at TYPO3 East Europe in 31 October / 1 November 2014.

Author: László Bodor

It’s time to upgrade to TYPO3 6.2 LTS

3 April 2014 Comments Off

As you probably know on the 25th of March the newest version of TYPO3 CMS has been released. Version 6.2 is a Long Term Support version, the second LTS released by the TYPO3 community and it will be supported until 2017. This release is focused on enterprises which use the 4.5 LTS version.

There are quite some new features in TYPO3 6.2, you can read all about those in the release notes or if you would want a more technical overview of the new features then you can look at the What’s new slides of the 6.2 version. The new features appeal for a broad user base: editors, integrators, administrators, developers and security specialists. We believe that these  new additions to the TYPO3 feature set along with the stability and performance improvements are a good reason to upgrade to version 6.2 LTS.

Selection_055

Upgrading from TYPO3 4.5 to TYPO3 6.2 

TYPO3 4.5 LTS is supported with security and stability fixes until March 2015. This gives roughly one year to current users of TYPO3 4.5 LTS to upgrade to TYPO3 6.2 LTS. The upgrade path is in most cases straightforward and smooth. There is also an extension called smoothmigration which will analyse your current setup, the installed extensions and configuration to check for features and functions which have been removed or changed during the update.

However in some cases changes will be required, either to configurations or existing extensions which are not compatible with TYPO3 6.2 LTS. During the last several months our team upgraded several websites from TYPO3 4.5 LTS to TYPO3 6.1 and we have begun the first upgrades to TYPO3 6.2 LTS. During our upgrades we encountered problems especially on custom 3rd party extensions which were not compatible with this newest TYPO3 release.

In light of the above we recommend our customers not to postpone the upgrades until the second part of the year because the March 2015 deadline will be very close and professional help will be scarce (as many people will be upgrading projects by then). And we can’t even imagine leaving your TYPO3 installation potentially vulnerable due to lack of updates after March 2015.

If you need help upgrading or you just want to evaluate how much effort is needed for upgrading your TYPO3 installation to 6.2 LTS then don’t hesitate to contact us.

Inspiring Conference 2014

31 March 2014 § 3

Last week from the 29th to the 30th of March 2014 the third edition of the Inspiring Conference took place in Kolbermoor / Germany. The Inspiring Conference is all about TYPO3 Flow and TYPO3 Neos. Our colleagues László Bodor and Daniel Homorodean were there to participate in the conference, learn new things and meet the friends from the TYPO3 community.

The conference started with a big-bang, that is with an impressive laser show followed by Robert Lemke’s keynote and Christian Müller’s Neos 101 session, then Sebastian Kurfürst gave us a head start into Typoscript 2.0.

Among other topics featured on the first day were things like how to run TYPO3 Flow on HipHop VM (by Martin Helmich) or How Flow help us save the world (by Tim Numan and Jesper Paardekooper). Another interesting session was the one presented by Henrik Møller Rasmussen with the subject Domain Event – the hidden gem of DDD. Later Karsten Dambekalns shared his experiences on how to migrate content from TYPO3 CMS to TYPO3 Neos and Robert Lemke showed us how can one create custom content elements with TYPO3 Neos.

After the dinner it was the time for the social event which took place in the Kellergewölbe (we were told that this means dungeon). Lots of interesting discussions, lots of drinks and music. This is how the social event  can be summed up.

The second day also featured a few very good and inspiring presentations. The first two hours were dedicated to testing, Sebastian Bergmann talked about The driven developer and Christopher Hlubek showed us how to do BDD with Behat and Flow. Then Dominique Feyer told us about a “place” called Node Kingdom.

After the lunch Henrik Møller Rasmussen showcased Famly and talked about the technical challenges and solutions. Marco Klawonn talked about Fakeperformance then it was time for Christian Jul Jensen to share his trials and triumphs building a Flow 2.0 application. Everyone could learn a lot from this presentation on how to do and how not to do things while working with TYPO3 Flow on a real world project.

The day ended with Sebastian Kurfürst’s session Polyglot Neos – something that everyone was waiting for and that is localisation in TYPO3 Neos. It seems that we will have this in version 1.2 or 1.3 which is due to be released later this year.

Inspiring Conference 2014

Inspiring Conference 2014

Sadly every good thing has to end and this was no different with the Inspiring Conference as well. After two days the conference was over and everyone was heading home. But we think everyone went home with new ideas, new friends and lots of inspiration. A big thank you goes out to the organizers of the conference and to the sponsors who made sure that this is a top conference with very good organisation, very good people and very interesting talks.

Update

Some pictures from the conference: On Flickr by Sacha Storz

FOSDEM 2014

11 February 2014 Comments Off

For the first time, thanks to Arxia, I had the opportunity to attend the open source’s biggest event: FOSDEM 2014. FOSDEM is a free event that offers open source communities a place to meet, share ideas & collaborate. The event is composed out of devrooms, lightning talks, 512 lectures, over 5000 attendees and it took place in Brussels, 1st & 2nd February 2014.

FOSDEM 2014

FOSDEM 2014

The host of the event was the Solbosch campus of the Universitry Libre de Brussels with 23 rooms spread across several buildings. There were essentially 5 different categories of sessions & activities: keynotes, main tracks, developer rooms, lightning talks & certification exams.
As with most open source events, FOSDEM started on Friday evening with a Beer Event, but unfortunately my flight landed in Brussels the next morning, so I missed the social gathering.
On Saturday morning, the event kicked off with the keynote Welcome to FOSDEM 2014 with event description & logics / practical information. From there on, every man for himself. Unlike any conferences I’ve attended, FOSDEM looks like an organized chaos, with so many people attending and such a variety of lectures.
It was hard to decide which tracks / devrooms / talks to attend to, but I think I got to attend some good ones. A nice talk was Why You Should Be an Open Source Project by Carol Huang where she compared humans to open source projects, quite clever. She made the case that we are a collection of code, our initial commit is from our parents and the pull requests of childhood influences are either rejected or accepted. More on this here.
Another interesting talk was about MyKolab.com, a business collaboration platform, that offers:
  • Synchronization with Mobile Devices
  • Free/Busy Information for Planning
  • Invitations for Appointments
  • Threaded Mailview
  • Server-side Mail Filtering
  • Multiple Calendar Folders
  • Different Calendar Views
  • Task Management
  • File Storage
  • Native File Integration
  • Customizable Webclient
  • Native Desktop Client for All Platforms
But the most important feature is maybe the bulletproof privacy that it offers being Open Source / Free Software.
Who ate my battery? by Jeremy Bennett & Kerstin Eder explains that the current problem with power usage on mobile devices doesn’t come entirely from hardware engineers, but the problem lies in the software. The lecture shows how ignorant developers are on power saving, ignoring efficiency in their applications / algorithm. Something really cool here was that you could test your algorithm and you would get a results in volts of how much energy did your algorithm consumed. Pretty awesome.
For an overall review of the event, I made an internal sharing session for my colleagues that can be seen on Slideshare.
FOSDEM is a nice opportunity to get in touch with people from the open source world, but also to feel the passion of thousands of developers reunited in one place.
Author: Tomita Militaru

2013 @ Arxia

31 January 2014 § 1

While most people are busy setting new year resolutions, we’d like to take a look back into the year that just past, as 2013 was an awesome year from all points of view!

Arxia Forest

In 2013 we started by getting dirty. Literally. Our hard working colleagues rolled up their sleeves and signed up for the project Plant your own forest or, how we like to call it, Forest Arxia. You know what they say, each man must plant a tree at least once in his life before they leave this life.
The project was organized by CERT Transylvania and more than 150 volunteers attended & seeded more than 5000 young trees!

Our next stop last year was to support the national computer science contest ITeam Net hosted by Tiberiu Popoviciu Informatics High School Cluj-Napoca in collaboration with Babes-Bolyai University. We feel strongly that it’s a great way to encourage high schools students to pursue an IT career, but also to learn new things thrum competitions like this one.

Our colleague Daniel Homorodean tested the Netherlands’ TYPO3 “waters” by attending the TYPO3Camp Venlo, a TYPO3 community event with over 75 attendees. One might think that most of them were Dutch, but surprisingly enough around 70% of the attendees were from across the border. Here Daniel had the first opportunity to speak about TYPO3 Romania Usergroup’s special & dear project, TYPO3 East Europe (T3EE), but more details below.

Arxia @ Masca

We love to do out of office activities and thanks to World Vision Romania, we had the opportunity to spend a fun weekend at 50 km outside the big city and help out some beautiful kids in a village near by with school supplies. A picnic in nature was most welcome during summer, games and lots of surprises for the 17 children from Masca, Cluj.

In May, Daniel went to explore the Brazilian market for our product PlanningWiz, in Sao Paulo – the business heart of the country, in Porto Alegre where Arxia attended the BITS IT fair, the South American equivalent of CEBIT, and in Rio de Janeiro, where he met with various potential partners and witnessed the kick-off of the Startup Brasil program at a local incubator.

The summer of 2013 caught some of our colleagues at the most important TYPO3 event for developers, the TYPO3 Developer Days, held in Hamburg, Germany. The sessions were great & the socializing was even better!

Team Arxia

Team Arxia

Speaking of nature, we’ve made it a tradition every year to organize Arxia Camp, a 4 days trip around the country with lots of team building games & bonding. In 2013 we decided to visit Maramures region, an area where Romanian traditions are well maintained even today. Perhaps the highlight of our trip was the trip with the “mocanita“, a small steam locomotive that has tracks between & uphill the mountains. The long 6 hours trip was a great opportunity for everyone to practice their singing skills & mime.
Last day of Arxia Camp was dedicated to the Barsana monastery which is build entirely out of rock & wood. We were lucky to manage a quick trip to the Happy Cemetery and the Memorial Museum, an opportunity to remember the events from the communist period.

It is very refreshing for us to see initiatives coming from the younger generations, so it was natural to support the 5Edu project, a program of informal education organized by highschool students for highschool students, as a summer school.

TYPO3Camp Mallorca

TYPO3Camp Mallorca

Since we love TYPO3 events, we couldn’t miss TYPO3Camp Mallorca 2013, one of the most fun TYPO3 events out there, with a really special & charming location. Several of our colleagues signed up for the flight to the Spanish island Palma de Mallorca where they meetup with people from the TYPO3 Community from around the world. We were glad to notice that the Romanian presence of attendees is increasing every year!

Thankfully, not all TYPO3 events are so far away and, not long after TYPO3Camp Mallorca, we attended the first TYPO3Camp Poland at our Eastern Europe brothers.

Like Walk

Like Walk

You might ask yourself, does Arxia have time to do some work? Of course! We had some great projects in 2013, like for example Cluj Napoca 2021 – portal for the European Capital of Culture (candidate city), Epistemio - platform for the management of scientific paper portfolios or LikeWalk – application where users can present their outfits to the world and find similar products on online shops.

We do our best to support the good practices in our industry and to promote them in Romania and everywhere where we can. So in 16 October, Daniel presented the importance and beneffits of the web accessibility standards to the attendees of the annual FRATEL reunion, held in Bucharest. That was also a good opportunity to polish his French grammar.

We couldn’t miss T3CON 2013, especially since it was announced that it is going to be a different CON than last years. The sessions were interesting & engaging, but we also enjoyed the networking part of the event, were we reconnected with old partners or made new ones. It was also a great opportunity to pitch TYPO3 Romania Usergroup’s own event: TYPO3 East Europethe first international event in eastern Europe.

TYPO3 East Europe

TYPO3 East Europe

Which brings us to the most important TYPO3 event in East Europe in 2013: TYPO3 East Europe. Together with TYPO3 Romania Usergroup, we gladly supported the University pre-event and the 2 days main event. Our colleague Bodor László has been one of the 12 speakers.
The event had 22 sessions, but also a record of 4 parties at different locations in Cluj. We couldn’t help but noticed how people from outside Romania are still fascinated with Transylvania & vampires!
The event was a success, with 100+ attendees from 7 countries and we look forward for T3EE 2014

All around the year of 2013 we tried to give back to the community by hosting the monthly Bug Day events where we encouraged local developers to contribute to TYPO3 projects.

Our work year came to an end near Christmas with a trip to a near by village called Ticu, where, with the help of World Vision Romania, we had the opportunity to give back some joy to the 20+ children there from a day care.

The year of 2013 has a great year & worth to remember, we are eager to see what new challenges has 2014 prepared for us!